Healthy Baby, Healthy Wallet: How to save money those first years
The other day a pregnant friend was trying to figure out a budget for when her baby was born. It can be overwhelming when considering the bundle of expenses that come along with your bundle of joy. I realized I had a lot to say! There are many things that you can do that will keep your baby and wallet healthy. Here are some of the things that can really make a difference.
Nurse if you can
* Formula gets really expensive. It can be anywhere from $70-$100 per month (or more). You can cut this expense entirely by using your natural supply.
*Less trips to the doctor. In my experience, babies are more likely to get acid reflux and other issues when on formula. Also remember, your child is gaining your antibodies! This helps build their immune system.
***Other benefits for momma-
*Loose weight quickly. Your body makes the milk using your stored fat.
*Very convenient- always warm, always with you, always instantly ready to go
*Prevents breast cancer, cervical cancer
*Support in Northwest Arkansas – la leche league meetings
The Diaper Situation
*cloth diapers will save a lot of money. For info on this visit Terra Tots in Fayetteville or you can buy online at www.gdiapers.com
*This was something I personally did not do because it kind of grossed me out. But my mother in law discovered a great way to save on regular ole diapers by using www.amazon.com for monthly delivery of whichever brand you choose. I used Luvs- they are cheap and work great. The prices are unbeatable, and the delivery is free if you are on monthly scheduled delivery.
Regarding Clothes, toys, gear
Kids grow so quickly – some items end up barely used. Some ways to save—
*accept and use hand-me-downs from friends and family members whenever you can
*attend and become a consigner at Rhea lana’s Www.nwa.rhealana.com/
*or June bugs Www.junebugsreruns.com
*some great local stores are Once Upon a Child in Fayetteville and Nine Months Later in Springdale
New mothers especially tend to book an appointment at the pediatrician for no reason. Consult your pediatrician’s online handbook and call the office to speak with nurse or dr on call before going in. They may offer great advice over the phone and tell you what to do and what symptoms to look for to know when to bring your little one in. Of course, always follow your gut feelings, but don’t let your nerves get the best of you.
Make your own baby food
You can save so much money on this! When they are first starting out, it takes a little bit of time- but then it so easy.
To make fruits and veggies-
This method works great with carrots, broccoli, squash, sweet potato, plums, apples, peaches, and mangoes.
*just peel and cut and boil in water, bake in oven, or steam
*When soft, mash up (using a fork or a blender if desired).
*Then just scoop in to ice trays and keep in the freezer.
* Take out what you will use the night before and store in the refrigerator preferably in glass jars.
Then you have your stock veggies and fruits. I used to make a few trays a week. And don’t forget the ones that require no preparation at all, like bananas and avocadoes, ripe mangoes, kiwi, and blue berries. At meal times, some suggestions of things you can easily grind up and add to your fruits and veggies are: eggs, chicken or meat, pastas or rice, beans, and cheese (when child is ready for it. I think most people start dairy at 1 year) we would normally add whatever we were eating with our own dinner.
What I found myself doing was looking at baby food jars and gong home and copying their combinations!
I’m sure that I missed some ideas for saving money those first few years in NWA. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org some of your ideas/ things that you have done and I will put together a bigger list for Northwest Arkansas